Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


1. A soft yellowish or whitish emulsion of butterfat, water, air, and sometimes salt, churned from milk or cream and processed for use in cooking and as a food.
2. Any of various substances similar to butter, especially:
a. A spread made from fruit, nuts, or other foods: plum butter; cashew butter.
b. A vegetable fat having a nearly solid consistency at ordinary temperatures.
3. Flattery.
tr.v. but·tered, but·ter·ing, but·ters
To put butter on or in.
Phrasal Verb:
butter up
To praise or flatter excessively: You're always buttering up the boss.

[Middle English butere, from Old English, from Latin būtȳrum, from Greek boutūron : bous, cow; see gwou- in Indo-European roots + tūros, cheese; see teuə- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Cookery) having had butter spread over or applied to it
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
'If you do such a thing again, I'll have you buttered! It went through and through my head like an earthquake!'
I never ceased to be fascinated by their persistence in eating buttered toast with their gloves on, and I observed with admiration the unconcern with which they wiped their fingers on their chair when they thought no one was looking.
'I wish yer'd ordered her to make some buttered toast first.